NBA free agency madness has started early this year. Just hours after it was reported Tuesday that Al Horford would opt out of his current contract to negotiate a more cap-friendly one for the Celtics, he's had a charge of heart.
Boston and Al Horford had discussed contract scenarios, but the gulf is too great for sides to believe they can close on a new deal now, league sources tell ESPN. Horford is prepared to enter the free agency to find a three or four year deal elsewhere.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 18, 2019
If Horford leaves, would it make it more or less likely that the Celtics make the Wizards an offer for Bradley Beal?
According to Sports Illustrated NBA Insider Chris Mannix, who appeared on NBC Sports Boston this week, made the possible case for Boston to pursue the two-time All-Star in a trade.
Ted Leonsis, the owner in Washington, loves Bradley Beal, but a new GM could walk in there and say look, I've got John Wall probably not playing next season. Bradley Beal has three years left on his contract. He is an enormously valuable trade asset. Can you get a Bradley Beal without throwing a Jayson Tatum in a trade? I don't know. But Bradley Beal is the next big star, I think, that could be available.
The Wizards are reportedly reluctant to part with Beal, but that doesn't mean there's a lack of buzz. In fact, they plan to offer him a three-year, $111 million extension when he's eligible in July, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. The Pelicans have shown sincere interest, according to NBC Sports Washington's Ben Standig, and there is speculation surrounding the Knicks, yet the Wizards have stood pat.
When it comes to the NBA offseason, however, Kevin Garnett said it best: anything is possible.
The Celtics have the assets to make a realistic offer. They own three first-round selections in the draft—14, 20 and 22—along with two blue-chip prospects in Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum.
But much of it could hinge on Horford's decision.
Per sources, the Celtics have been aware of Horford's interest in signing elsewhere for a few days. The team has not given up hope of trying to convince him to stay, however.— Adam Himmelsbach (@AdamHimmelsbach) June 19, 2019
The Celtics' most consistent player over the past three years, losing Horford would be a poor start to what looks like a possibly dreary offseason for the Celtics. If the Celtics strike out in free agency and Washington decides to move Beal, perhaps a trade would be Boston's big swing.
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